United States v. Shibin, No. 12-4652 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his convictions stemming from his involvement in conducting the negotiations for the ransom of a ship seized by pirates and for his participation in the torture of the ship's crew as part of the process. The court affirmed defendant's piracy convictions in Counts 1 and 7, based on his intentionally facilitating two piracies on the high seas, even though his facilitating conduct took place in Somalia and its territorial waters; affirmed the district court's ruling denying defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment for lack of personal jurisdiction based on his being brought into the United States involuntarily; universal jurisdiction was irrelevant to the prosecution of Counts 2 through 6 and each of those counts was based on a statute that Congress validly applied to extraterritorial conduct, including defendant's conduct; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting an FBI agent's testimony because they were admitted only as prior inconsistent statements. The court rejected defendant's Crawford v. Washington claim and affirmed the judgment of the district court.